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French female TV journo sexually attacked in Cairo

Last Updated: Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 18:48

Cairo: A French television journalist has said that she was attacked in Egypt’s Cairo square where CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was sexually assaulted last year.

Sonia Dridi, from France 24, said that she had just covered a protest in Egypt’s Tahrir Square when she was surrounded by some men.

She said they put their hands all over her, tried to remove her clothes and attempted to drag her away from a male colleague who was trying to protect her.

“We see it all the time,” Dridi said, adding: “Men touch women and grab them.”
According to the New York Daily News, she said that Ashraf Khalil, a correspondent for Time and France 24, kept her from being carried off.

“There were at least 50 guys around us attacking us, but Ashraf held onto me and told me, ‘Don’t worry. Just breathe. Breathe. It’s going to be okay,’ ” she said.

Khalil said that the crowd rushed towards them and “went crazy.”

“It was basically me keeping her in a bear hug, both arms around her and face-to-face,” he said, adding: “It was hard to tell who was helping and who was groping her.”

Dridi said that at one point, some of the men told her to get in a van and she didn’t know if it was a trap or an escape route, but Khalil told her not to get in.
“There were a lot of men in there and I’m sure now that they were of the attackers,” she said.

She said that they somehow ran inside a nearby restaurant, where workers locked the door and closed the gate to keep the mob away.

According to the report, CBS newswoman Lara Logan was sexually assaulted and beaten by protesters in Tahrir square in February last year during the popular uprising that toppled longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.

France 24 said it was “extremely shocked,” and is working with the French Embassy in Cairo to bring Dridi back to France, the report added.


First Published: Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 00:25
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